Albion women were knocked out of the SSE Women's FA Cup
SPORTING CLUB ALBION 4
Cottam 17, 83
- Albion are knocked out of the SSE Women’s FA Cup
- Samantha Conroy, Summer Holmes and Abigail Cottham put Sporting 3-0 up
- Lisa Fulgence, Sophie Perry and Charley Boswell all on target to make it 3-3
- Conroy scores a late winner
Brighton & Hove Albion were knocked out of the SSE Women’s FA Cup after a narrow 4-3 defeat to Sporting Club Albion in a pulsating match at Culver Road.
The Seagulls engineered a stunning comeback to overturn a 3-0 deficit to bring the scores back to 3-3, but a late winner from Sporting Club Albion sent the West Midlands side into the last eight.
The visitors took the lead in the ninth minute, as Samantha Conroy’s deflected header beat Nina Wilson.
Their advantage was doubled just six minutes later after an angled strike by Summer Holmes beat Wilson at her far post.
Hazzana Parnell almost made it 3-0 with a shot at the near post, but the lead was extended further just moments later through Abigail Cottham.
The Baggies took advantage of a defensive error and Cottham fired the ball home into an empty net to score a third after only 17 minutes.
The Seagulls gradually improved as the half wore on, as Charlotte Gurr linked up well with Bronwen Thomas, but the latter’s strike went wide of the target.
Kate Natkiel tried her luck from distance, but was comfortably saved by Sporting goalkeeper Rebecca Thomas.
Lisa Fulgence got on the end of Amelia Ritchie’s free-kick into the box, but her header was saved by Thomas once again.
But James Marrs’s side gained a foothold in the game when Fulgence ended a superb free-flowing move and fired home Lucy Somes’s dangerous cross.
It could have been 3-2 in first-half stoppage time, as Thomas had to be alert to make a double save to deny both Somes and Gurr from close range.
Marrs reshuffled the pack at a half-time and brought on Jay Blackie in place of Thomas.
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The Baggies were dealt a blow when goalscorer Holmes was forced off injured and was replaced by Karen Clough.
Albion reduced the deficit to one ten minutes into the second half, when Perry’s perfectly placed free-kick bounced in off the underside of the bar.
The Republic of Ireland international came close to scoring a brilliant equaliser after her curling shot went just wide of the far post.
Natkiel forced Thomas into two more saves, before Amelia Ritchie’s close-range effort was blocked by the Sporting defence.
Lily Agg was brought on for Gurr for Albion’s final change and she almost had an immediate impact when her shot was saved by Thomas.
But it was another substitute, Charley Boswell, who brought parity to the scoreline in the 81st minute, after Perry’s cross caused mayhem in the Sporting defence and she fired home past Thomas.
The Seagulls suffered a cruel blow less than two minutes later, as Conroy rose highest in the box to head home a fourth goal for the visitors.
Marrs’s side still pressed forward and another shot from Kirsty Barton forced yet another save from Thomas.
There was still time for Agg to trouble the Sporting Club defence with a header that was cleared off the line, but the visitors progressed to the next round.
ALBION: Wilson; Ritchie, D Cooper, Ashton-Jones; Somes (Boswell 72), Barton, Gurr (Agg 78), Perry, Natkiel; Thomas (Blackie 46), Fulgence.
SUBS NOT USED: Samain (GK), Taylor.